WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Alzheimer’s disease can often leave family members feeling helpless. But not Jack Phillips.
As a student at Mamaroneck High School, he was determined to help his ailing grandmother and her caregivers. And he’s done so using a technology that most people have right in the palm of their hands – a mobile app. Last year he and a team of five other students developed an app that assists with tasks such as remembering faces and names, managing schedules, and even tracking patients using GPS.
“It’s really cool to be able to use something I’ve learned in class and in books to help actual people,” said Phillips, 17, now a senior.
What sparked the idea was the inaugural #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl.
The competition – a partnership between County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems – challenged students to create mobile applications to address the needs of the Alzheimer’s and Dementia community.
This year the competition – which is now accepting registrations – has expanded the mission to include apps that improve life for all people age 65 and older. Whether that means helping people track their health, schedule doctor’s appointments, play memory games, or anything in between, the possibilities are endless. Just like last year, cash awards, tech gear, paid internships and much more are all up for grabs.
“We know Westchester has some of the brightest young minds, and we want to push them to even new heights,” said Astorino. “Last year’s competition was phenomenal, with more than 150 students competing from across the tri-state area. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.”
Registration is requested by Friday, February 12. To register, visit http://www.pace.edu/seidenberg/mobile-app-development-bowl-2016-challeng... (http://bit.ly/appbowl) or email [email protected] with questions. There is no entry fee.
The competition will officially kick off on Friday, February 26 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, where students will dive right in to workshops on design and development basics.
How does it work?
· Students must compete in teams (2 person minimum). More than one team from the same school is permitted. Students may form and register independent teams without school affiliation. Students can also register as individuals, and Pace will assist them in forming a team.
· Once registered, teams will be notified of important dates.
· Free technical support will be offered to all participants via an online system, so no question will go unanswered for more than 24 to 48 hours.
· In the spring, a panel of expert judges will score and determine the top mobile apps. Winners will be announced and prizes will be awarded during an event at Pace University’s Pleasantville Campus.
“Pace is proud to partner once again with Westchester County to mobilize high school and college students to help aging populations with technology and help prepare the next generation of technology leaders and innovators,” said Jonathan Hill, Interim Dean of Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
Phillips and the Mamaroneck High School team won several awards at last year’s competition, taking home $850 in cash prizes for their Computer Science Club. Phillips also was selected for a prestigious paid internship at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, one of the coveted internships again being offered through this year’s competition. Magazine spotlights, newspaper articles, a youth service award and even public presentations of the app all followed the competition.
But most important of all, said Jigar Jadav, a computer science teacher and coach of the Mamaroneck High School app team, is that the mobile app will soon be made publically available for patients and caregivers.
“At the end of the day, this was an incredible journey, and I was blown away by how many doors were opened for us,” said Jadav. “This was really an amazing learning experience.”
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the Mobile App Development Bowl, please contact Deth Sao at [email protected] or (914) 773-3706